The global interest in Asia and in particular inbound investment to China has led to a sustained increase in Hong Kong as a domestic and international arbitration dispute resolution mechanism in commercial contract agreements.

The absence of robust legal systems in some parts of Asia has meant that contracts for projects in this region often stipulate that Hong Kong should be the main arbitration system used to resolve disputes due to its long and established reputation for offering a reliable, neutral, confidential and efficient solution. Further afield, many commercial parties from Europe and North America entering into business in Asia will select Hong Kong as the preferred jurisdiction for arbitration for the multilingual legal system and modern, progressive and reliable service mind set.

Tanner De Witt is engaged on domestic and international arbitrations in Hong Kong and works on arbitrations administered by: Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), the core legal body of the UN system in the field of international trade law, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and others.

Why choose arbitration?

Parties choose to use arbitrators with relevant sector knowledge and experience for their disputes for a range of different reasons. Arbitration can lead to faster resolution with less conflict and stress than taking the dispute to the court system. Parties are free from the court timetable and the objective is to come to a solution with less conflict which can lead to faster results. Arbitrations also provide greater levels of confidentiality in proceedings.

Although arbitration is not always cheaper than traditional litigation, Tanner De Witt will help clients to resolve conflicts in a cost-effective manner with minimum disruption to commercial relationships.

We advise a range of clients across different industries and we advise on:

  • Negotiation of arbitration clauses;
  • Pre-arbitral negotiations in a dispute;
  • Selection of arbitral tribunals;
  • Enforcement action; and
  • Arbitration funding.
  • Advised a claimant in an arbitration in Hong Kong for enforcement of a personal guarantee in relation to a share purchase agreement.  Asset freezing injunction and receivership applications in Hong Kong, Singapore and the British Virgin Islands were involved in aid of the arbitration;
  • Represented the claimant (who is an individual in the gambling industry) in an ICC arbitration;
  • Acted for the client of a stockbroker in a contract dispute before the HKIAC;
  • Acted for a Dutch IT services company in a dispute concerning a non-competition clause. This is an HKIAC arbitration case;
  • Represented an international jewellery brand in a multi jurisdiction arbitration concerning a franchise agreement;
  • Acted for two major international banks involved in an arbitration between a UK-based private equity firm and a well-known hospitality group in China;
  • Represented a major offshore investor in an arbitration in Hong Kong against another offshore company for breach of shareholders’ and note holders’ agreement concerning US$20 million;
  • Acted for the claimant in an HKIAC arbitration in claiming against a brokerage firm for unauthorized withdrawals of funds in breach of mandate;
  • Acted for the claimant in an arbitration in Hong Kong governed by New York laws involving complex issues of funds;
  • Acted for the respondent in an arbitration in Hong Kong relating to a service agreement about provision of multimedia services and a debt conversion agreement;
  • Acted for a prominent Hong Kong based construction company in an arbitration with its employer in construction disputes;
  • Assisted in applying for interlocutory measures in Hong Kong courts in aid of the arbitration in fear that any award obtained by the London team in the arbitration might remain unsatisfied;
  • Acted for the respondent with counterclaims in an ICC arbitration relating to a breach of a sale of goods agreement.

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